The KC Royals had a pretty successful week. They won their series in Chicago and split their four-game series in Baltimore to go 5-3. They are now tied for last place in the American League Central with Minnesota at 49-65. The Royals continue to play playoff contenders during their upcoming six-game homestand (Oakland and the White Sox).
Omaha is in the midst of a three-game winning streak, as they have gone 4-2. The Storm Chasers continue to blow away the American Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League at 72-50. Two teams in their division have already been eliminated from postseason play. They continue their road trip out west tonight, as they finish up their series in Tuscon before moving on to Las Vegas.
NW Arkansas went 3-3 this past week, but continue to sit in last place in the North Division of the Texas League at 16-33 (15.5 games back). The Naturals finish up their homestand tonight against Frisco.
Wilmington went 4-2 this past week and have a one game lead in the Northern Division of the Carolina League at just 24-24. The Blue Rocks head out on the road to Potomac for a short three-game series before heading back home.
Kane County is in the midst of a three-game winning streak, as they went 5-2. They are 26-23, in a three-way tie for second place in the Western Division of the Midwest League (four games back). The Cougars finish up their road series with Cedar Rapids today.
Majors: Billy Butler had a very powerful week. He went 9-for-27 (.333) in seven games. Four of those hits were homeruns. Six of the nine hits went for extra bases. He drove in seven runs and scored seven runs.
Honorable Mention: Alex Gordon also had a powerful week. He went 10-for-30 (.333) with three homeruns and four RBIs. He led off two of the four games in Baltimore with homeruns.
Minors: Dean Espy, Kane County. The 2011 draft pick out of UCLA is in the midst of a four-game hitting streak. Over the past week, he was 7-for-19 (.368) with two doubles, three runs scored, and two RBIs. He has also cut down on his strikeouts (none in the past three games and just two last week).
Honorable Mention: Irving Falu, Omaha. He went 10-for-30 (.333) with three doubles, a triple, and five runs scored. All of that offense is coming from the leadoff spot.
Pitchers of the Week
Majors: Jeremy Guthrie was brilliant against first place Chicago in his only start last week. He did not allow a run or walk over eight scoreless innings. He allowed just five hits while striking out six. His next start will come Tuesday at home against Oakland.
Minors: I had a tough time choosing just one, so I’m giving a tie once again. Cuban Noel Arguelles had a tough time with his promotion to Double-A, but finally seems to be figuring it out. In two starts last week, he allowed two runs (one earned) on nine hits over 14 innings. He walked six while striking out ten. His best start of the season may have come on August 6th, when he pitched seven shutout innings, while allowing just two hits and a walk.
After pitching in relief on Tuesday for Wilmington, Matt Ridings didn’t find out he was starting on Sunday until it was less than 24 hours before the start. The short notice didn’t seem to faze him. He pitched seven shutout innings and didn’t allow a hit until the 6th inning (three hits total). Overall on the week, he allowed just one run on six hits and two walks over 11 innings while striking out eight.